While surf fishing today, we were distracted by the tide pools. Leptaasterias hexactis, known also as the Six Rayed or Brooding Sea Star only reaches a size of slightly more than 3 inches. This particular star pictured has lost a leg to an intertidal predator. While many sea stars reproduce by broadcasting their egg and sperm into the water column, these little stars are attentive mothers. Females will stand guard over a mass of yellow eggs and then guard her young stars until they are foraging on their own.Tasty mollusks such as the Lined Chiton are considered a delicacy by these tiny echinoderms. The brooding process may take several months all while the female is fasting.
Learn more on our next extreme tidepooling adventure for families on October 19th, 2013 at http://www.bluewaterventures.org
Imagine a huge egg cracked over an indigo blue fry pan the size of a trampoline and you have found Phacellophora camtschatica, the egg yolk sea jelly! A savory meal for the oddly shaped Mola Mola sunfish, other gelationous creatures and sea turtles, this fascintating sea jelly resides in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. While out looking for humpback whales this morning by kayak, we paddled by numerous gelantionous species such as Chrysaora colorata, formerly Pelagia colorata and commonly known as the Purple sea jelly.
Acting like a submerged spider web, the egg yolk sea jelly’s convoluted tangle of tentacles serves to snare its prey.
Our Bioluminescence paddle last night in Elkhorn Slough was super cool! The water glowed with dinoflagellates, a single cell bioluminescent protist, a grouping of species that may have some animal as well as plant like characteristics. Some dinoflagellates are responsible for red tide as seen in the video below while others such as zooxanthellae feed their coral host through photosynthesis.
Our next Bioluminescence Paddle is September 28th. Join us! Details at our blue water ventures website atwww.bluewaterventures.org
Hope to Glow with you!
Kim Powell, MRPA
Owner, Operator &Naturalist
Blue Water Ventures
phone & fax: 831-459-8548